Cròileagan Inbhir Narainn at Nairn Allotments

Thèid sinn sìos dhan Lot a-màireach… We’re going down to the Allotment…

Cròileagan Inbhir Narainn has recently held a series of whole-morning sessions at the Nairn Allotments and all staff & children have really enjoyed the experience, always welcomed by a friendly Brù-dhearg [robin] and Lòn-dubh [blackbird].

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The children can recall previous visits and observe changes over time – they know to walk down the steps to the raised beds, remembering our safety rules:

  • ‘The cones are out’
  • ‘It’s so we don’t go past them’
  • ‘We don’t go past them without a adult’

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So, what’s been growing & what needs done? It seems like EVERYTHING’S been growing in the fortnight between visits.  We have to:

  • remove dead leaves and put straw under the strawberries [subhan-làir] – now flowering
  • pull out some quite large weeds from the paths – involving good teamwork
  • use tools carefully, pointing down ‘in front of you’ then put back in the box – sgoinneil
  • check out the carrots and onions, and pick some colourful Swiss Chard to try for snack

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We’ve had a Mini-beast hunt – a’ lorg meanbh-bhiastagan – using book illustrations to help us; worms [boiteagan], slugs [sèimhidh] and wood-louse [corra-chòsag] among old favourites. A few children played with their small toy animals in the mud-pie from last time, while others enjoyed using digital and Flip cameras to record the visit from their own point of view.

We’ve also played audio-maths games like guessing ‘how many stones?’, added to our floor-book on Allotments learning, and have been re-using containers to plant ‘Grow Wild’ seeds.

It’s been a great opportunity for different vocabulary too [eg cluaran – thistle etc], and in the queue for the taighean-beaga [toilets], we even started learning a new lullaby [since we’ve been learning about babies recently] until a train went by high above on the viaduct!

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It just feels so healthy being outdoors all morning! After Johanne’s last visit, she said –

We looked at the raised beds and found there were not many weeds to pull so we decided to weed all around our beds to keep the lot looking tidy. The rain made a few appearances and we all got a bit wet! It really didn’t matter because we did a little weed pulling dance…

  • Shake the stones away (do the twist with hands out in front of you)
  • Pinch the weed (crouch down hugging your weed)
  • agus slaod! (jump up pulling your weed with you!)

We did this a few times and got nice and warm. After our bit of exercise we went up to the cosy shed for snack. Mairi timed a visit perfectly and arrived with coffee and a little treat for everyone! Myriam was persuaded to tell her (made up as she went along) story about the wee snail going through a hole in the shed, where she had the children on the edge of their seats! After fuelling up, we went back to plant some sunflower and carrot seeds. Some children continued weeding while others made that delicious mud pie!

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Now we can’t wait until we go back!

Myriam, Johanne and Tia, Cròileagan Inbhir Narainn